In vitro fertilisation and even newer assisted reproductive technologies are part of everyday life in the contemporary Middle East. There, IVF is practised according to local Islamic norms, which have been reinforced by fatwas from lead- ing religious authorities. As this article will show, ideological differences between dominant Sunni and minority Shi’ite forms of Islam are currently shaping the practices of test-tube baby-making in the Muslim world, particularly regarding the use of third-party gamete donation and new technologies to overcome male infertility. Such divergences have led to gender transformations within infertile marriages in the Muslim Middle East, with potentially profound implications for women’s marital security and family formation.
The Making of Sunni versus Shi'ite Test-Tube Babies
Marcia C. Inhorn
States of Displacement: Middle Eastern Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Asylum Seekers in Global Context
Lucia Volk and Marcia C. Inhorn
The plight of forcibly displaced persons may have lost the spotlight in the global news cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Middle Eastern refugee crisis has continued unabated. Nearly 80 million people have been forcibly displaced, including millions of Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Syrians, and Yemenis. In this special issue, anthropologists highlight different states of displacement – protracted, repeated and recent – amongst Middle Eastern populations that have fled to Germany, Greece, Jordan and Turkey. Amidst profound precarity, refugees manage to negotiate new geographies of displacement, re-create a sense of home, plan their reproductive futures, organise protests to claim their asylum rights, and engage in activism and solidarity. Featuring nuanced ethnographic studies, this special issue bears witness to refugees’ fortitude and resilience.
Publications and Conferences
Joel W. Abdelmoez, Lucia Volk, and Marcia C. Inhorn
Korangy, A., Al-Samman, H. and Beard, M. (eds), The Beloved in Middle Eastern Literatures: The Culture of Love and Languishing (London: I.B. Tauris, 2018).
‘(Un)Settling Middle Eastern Refugees’ (Yale University, September 2019)